Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

July 1, 2013

Coalition tries to intervene in dam relicensing in effort to curb pollution

Group’s attempt ‘most significant opportunity to save the bay’

CUMBERLAND — Attorneys representing the Clean Chesapeake Coalition, an organization that includes Allegany County, have filed to intervene in the federal relicensing process for the Conowingo Dam.

The coalition wants conditions added to the license to address concerns about the dam’s role in pollution of the Chesapeake Bay.

“This intervention presents the most significant opportunity to save the bay in our lifetime, given that the license renewal is for a term of 30-50 years,” according to the coalition’s website.

The dam is owned by the Exelon Corporation and is licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Coalition, which is beginning discussions and a review of the relicensing.

Allegany County strongly supports the effort to intervene, said Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine.

A high percentage of the pollutants entering the bay come from the Susquehanna River, where the dam stands, officials said.

The dam no longer serves the filtering process it once did, and now pollutants go through the dam during water releases and polluted sediments have accumulated in the dam. The coalition believes the dam should be dredged.

“It’s lost all of its scrubbing power,” Valentine said. “They’re never going to take care of the bay unless the Conowingo Dam is addressed.”

Charles “Chip” MacLeod of Funk and Bolton said he didn’t expect any objections to the intervention, because the local counties clearly have an interest in the process.

Some coalition members are concerned about discussions that have occurred outside the formal licensing process.

In a June 18 letter to John Smith of FERC, a Kent County commissioner writing on behalf of the coalition questioned some of the procedures in the relicensing process, especially settlement negotiations and a pre-filing consultation project.

“We are troubled by the concept that a settlement agreement can be filed by Exelon with supporting documentation that will be given weight by the Commission in making environmental determinations,” wrote Ronald Fithian.

Some environmental groups  have said that while the dam is an issue, it should not become the main concern for bay cleanup efforts.

The county agreed to pay the firm up to $25,000 for its efforts and each county part of the coalition agreed to pay a portion of the attorney fees.

The coalition’s website is: http://www.cleanchesapeakecoalition.com/.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at mbieniek@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Latest news
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'